Cedar Grove 33, Greater Atlanta Christian 6

Oct. 23, 2020 - Norcross, Ga: Cedar Grove running back Rashod Dubinion (7) gets past a GAC defender for yardage in the second half at Greater Atlanta Christian, Friday, October 23, 2020 in Norcross, Ga.. Cedar Grove won 33-6. JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
Oct. 23, 2020 - Norcross, Ga: Cedar Grove running back Rashod Dubinion (7) gets past a GAC defender for yardage in the second half at Greater Atlanta Christian, Friday, October 23, 2020 in Norcross, Ga.. Cedar Grove won 33-6. JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

Rashod Dubinion’s 4 TD’s, stout defense lead No. 1 Saints in a rout

Rashod Dubinion is persona non grata on the Greater Atlanta Christian campus.

Last season, the then-sophomore’s two touchdown runs – 62 and 26 yards – proved to be the difference as Cedar Grove downed the Spartans, 28-18, in the Class 3A semifinals. Friday night at Spartan Stadium in Norcross, Dubinion did it again.

His four touchdown runs, three in the first half, were more than enough as he and the Saints' defense dominated in a 33-6 rout over GAC.

With the win, Cedar Grove (4-0, 3-0 in Region 5), the top ranked team in Class 3A, is now 3-0 all-time against GAC (5-1, 2-1), ranked No. 5, and claimed sole possession of first place in the region.

But the contest wasn’t just the Dubinion Show. After allowing GAC to drive 65 yards to score the game’s first points, a 40-yard field goal by junior Branan Rountree, the Saints allowed the Spartans just 74 more yards and three more points over the next three-and-a-half quarters. They intercepted GAC senior quarterback Deymon Fleming three times.

In fact, Dubinion and the Saints responded almost instantly. Starting its first possession of the game on the Saints' 34-yard line, senior quarterback Austin Smith connected with Dubinion on a 16-yard pass play. On the next play, Dubinion took a shotgun snap in the wildcat, darted around the right side and sprinted 50 yards for a touchdown. Freshman kicker Joseph Slaughter’s extra point kick made the score 7-3 and Cedar Grove never looked back.

Early in the second quarter, the Saints put together the game’s longest scoring drive – 87 yards in 12 plays. Smith kept the drive alive with a key completion, a 20-yarder to senior Lamarion Ewing on third-and-13 from the Cedar Grove 39 yard line. Two plays later, Dubinion ran 34 yards to the GAC 6-yard line. On the next play, lining up again at quarterback in the wildcat, he shook a Spartan defender that had blasted into the Saints' backfield and followed his blockers into the end zone to push the lead to 13-3, after a 2-point conversion run failed.

GAC was forced to punt the ball back to Cedar Grove with a little less than three minutes remaining until halftime, and the Saints took advantage. Smith’s 25-yard completion to senior Sam Pittman on third-and-nine from the Saint’s 42-yard line kept the drive alive. Three plays later, the Cedar Grove offensive line sealed the edge again for Dubinion, who waltzed into the end zone from 13 yards out to give the Saints a 20-3 lead at halftime.

The Spartans caught a break on Cedar Groves' first possession of the second half, as Smith and senior running back Langston White mishandled the mesh point of zone read handoff and GAC recovered at the Saints' 26-yard line. But the Cedar Grove defense – led by defensive tackles Demarius Jackson, a senior, and Christen Miller, a junior, along with sophomore linebackers Mike Aguirre and Everett Roussaw, Jr., and junior linebacker Malachi Madison – held firm and forced Rountree to make a 47-yard field goal to narrow the gap to 20-6.

But Cedar Grove put the game away for good on its next possession, as Smith capped a 10-play, 86-yard drive with a 33-yard touchdown pass down the far sideline to Trevon Ferrell to extend the lead to 27-6 with five minutes to play in the third quarter.

GAC moved inside the Saint’s 10-yard line on its next possession, thanks in part to a holding call in the secondary. But Aguirre intercepted Fleming’s pass at the goal line to end the threat. Senior safety Jordan Grier ended the Spartans' last serious scoring attempt of the game on their next possession, as he picked off a pass over the middle with a little less than seven minutes remaining in regulation.

Dubinion capped the ensuing drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, as his offensive line – seniors Justin Jones, Spencer Yeaton, and Keon Watson, junior George Tharpe, and sophomores Uriah Scott and KenDell Brown – cleared the way. The unit was the main catalyst for the 402 yards the Saints piled up in total offense on the night.

Cedar Grove will have a bye next week before hosting Westminster (2-2, 0-2) on Nov. 5, while GAC will travel to Sandy Creek (3-2, 2-0) next week.

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